UK telco BT now has just over 60,000 TV customers with YouView connected TV boxes, the company has revealed. BT said it signed up 21,000 BT Vision customers in the quarter to the end of December. The company ended its fiscal third quarter with 770,000 BT Vision customers.YouView is a joint venture between service providers BT and TalkTalk, transmission services provider Arqiva and broadcasters the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.BT is proceeding with its multicast rollout and now offers 18 standard-definition linear and four HD linear channels, available to customers for an additional £2 (€2.33) a month.The telco added 122,000 retail broadband customers in the quarter, and added 200,000 customers to its high-speed fibre offering.BT’s retail division posted revenues of £1.8 billion for the quarter, down 3%, and EBITDA of £474 million, up 5%.
Freesat, a new low-cost digital platform for Romania, has launched on the Eutelsat 16A satellite.Freesat joins the already crowded Romanian DTH market with a very low-cost offering, providing a range of standard and HD channels for an annual subscription of RON99 (€23) and the purchase of a conditional access smartcard.The platform includes popular Romanian commercial and public channels such as TVR 1, TVR 2, Pro TV, AcasaTv, ProCinema, Sport.ro, KanalD, Prima, NationalTV, FavoritTV, TVR HD TVR 3, TVR News, TVR International, Etno TV, Taraf TV and West TV.“Our objective is to give Romanians access to digital television choice at a great price with the highest quality and to reach the maximum number of homes using Eutelsat’s established neighbourhood at 16° East,” said Serban Belenes, general manager of Freesat. “We believe that Freesat’s proposal of no monthly bill and no commitment is a key asset. With 99 lei, you have your favourite channels for a full year – no worries, no subscription.”
Source:https://www.escardio.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 5 2019Anti-inflammatory biologic drugs used to treat severe psoriasis have the potential to prevent heart disease in patients with the skin condition, according to research published today in Cardiovascular Research, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). During one year of treatment, biologic therapy improved coronary artery plaque similar to the effect of a low-dose statin.”Psoriasis severity is related to the burden of coronary disease – our findings suggest treating the psoriasis may potentially benefit coronary heart disease,” said study author Dr Nehal Mehta, Chief of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, US.Psoriasis causes scaly skin patches, often on the elbows, knees, scalp, and lower back. Patients with the skin condition have an elevated risk of heart disease – young patients with severe psoriasis are at twice the risk of having a first heart attack at 40-50 years of age.Psoriasis patients often have inflammation throughout the body and may be treated with anti-inflammatory biologic therapy when their skin condition is severe and topical treatments or phototherapy have failed. This study investigated whether treating severe psoriasis with a biologic could improve the health of the coronary arteries.The study found that patients with severe psoriasis who took biologic therapy for one year had an 8% reduction in total and non-calcified coronary plaque burden, a frequent cause of heart attacks (see figure) – similar to the effect of a low dose statin. The make-up of coronary plaques also improved in those taking biologics, making them less risky. Coronary plaque burden increased by 2% in patients who did not take a biologic.Dr Mehta said: “We found that these anti-inflammatory drugs commonly used to treat severe psoriasis also improve plaque in the coronary artery making them more stable and less likely to cause a heart attack. This occurred in the absence of changes in traditional cardiovascular risk factors including blood pressure and blood lipids.”Related StoriesStroke should be treated 15 minutes earlier to save lives, study suggestsCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseaseDuring the one-year study, systemic inflammation assessed by blood markers reduced only in the group taking biologic therapy. Dr Mehta said it is too early to say whether biologics exert their effects on coronary plaques directly or by reducing systemic inflammation.He said: “This preliminary study provides the first evidence that biologic therapy is associated with coronary plaque reduction and stabilization, and provides strong rationale for conduct of a randomized trial testing the impact of biologic therapy on the progression of coronary disease in patients with psoriasis.”Dr Mehta noted that some patients with severe psoriasis opt not to take a biologic medicine because they suppress the immune system and may increase the chance of infection. In addition, they must be injected.Previous research has shown that in heart attack patients, anti-inflammatory biologic therapy reduces the risk of another cardiovascular event.2 “With the results of that study and our current one, my message to patients with psoriasis is to take untreated inflammation seriously,” said Dr Mehta. “When someone has severe psoriasis, they are at higher risk of heart attack and treating the psoriasis may reduce that risk.”The observational study included 121 patients with severe psoriasis who qualified for biologic treatment. Of those, 89 took biological therapy (one of three types) and 32 used topical treatment. All patients underwent imaging of their coronary arteries with computed tomography angiography at baseline and one year later to assess the amount and characteristics of plaques such as the necrotic core which causes plaque rupture.
Reports show that in Germany in 2013, although CT scans only represented 7 % of all X-rays performed, they conveyed 60 % of the radiation that patients received. We built several prototype cameras. As an alternative to CT, they enable 3D X-ray imagines in very few exposures, meaning less radiation for the patient.”Marta Fajardo, project coordinator and assistant professor at the Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon, Portugal New perspective on 3D imagingCT scans make images by taking thousands of flat, two-dimensional photos in order to reconstruct a 3D image. The problem is that each photo injects ionizing radiation into the patient. As photos multiply, radiation levels rise.To counter this, VOXEL’s breakthrough idea was to adapt a technique called plenoptic imaging to X-ray radiation. Plenoptic cameras capture information about the direction that light rays, including X-rays, are traveling in space, as opposed to a normal camera that captures only light intensity.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskSubclinical cardiovascular disease linked to higher risk of falling in older adultsNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerBecause researchers can use the information about light direction captured by plenoptic cameras to reconstruct 3D images, there is no need to take thousands of 2D photos. Images of important structures like blood vessels can be made from a single exposure, lowering the average radiation dose significantly.A major part of the work was using the right algorithms to manipulate the captured information. ‘First, we demonstrated that plenoptic imagining is mathematically equivalent to a limited-angle tomography problem,’ Fajardo says. ‘Then we could simply reformat plenoptic imaging as tomography data and apply image reconstruction algorithms to obtain much better images.’But the biggest challenge remained engineering the cameras. ‘The higher the photon energy, the harder it is to manufacture the optics for a plenoptic camera,’ she says. ‘You need X-rays of different energies for different tasks.’ The solution was to develop one camera prototype that used lower-energy X-rays for tiny structures like cells and another that used higher-energy X-rays for larger objects, such as small animals or human organs.Less radiation, healthier patientsWhile Fajardo is encouraged by the project’s results, work remains to be done. ‘The low-energy X-ray camera belongs to a niche market,’ she explains. ‘But the high-energy X-ray prototype has huge medical potential, although it still requires some development.’Results from the project, which was awarded a Future Emerging Technologies grant, will soon be submitted for publication in the international science journal Nature Photonics. Source:European Commission Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 15 2019CT scans have revolutionized the fight against human illness by creating three-dimensional images of the body’s inner workings. Such scans, however, can deliver high doses of radiation. Now EU-funded researchers have built special cameras that limit radiation while delivering images vital for patient health.Doctors have used computed tomography scans, or CT scans, to greatly improve the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. But a major problem limits their use: they deliver high doses of radiation that can harm patients nearly as much as their ailment.Enter the EU-funded VOXEL project which set out to develop an innovative way to create three-dimensional imaging. The result is special cameras that can deliver 3D images but without the high doses of radiation.